The Observer, May 6 

The Observer was out having a drink with a buddy last week at Ciao Bacci, enjoying the pleasant early evening weather and catching up, when we noticed that just on the other side of the porch sat Judge David Burnett, the now infamous gavel-slammer who presided at the West Memphis Three trial. Two young boys went to prison for life. Another, Damien Echols, was sentenced to death in the trial.

The judge was hobnobbing at what appeared to be a fundraiser for his state Senate campaign, a small event populated by a few older-than-middle-aged men, when a few unexpected guests arrived. Three members of Arkansans Take Action (ATA), a group dedicated to raising awareness for and working for the release of the three West Memphis boys, showed up in “Free the West Memphis Three” T-shirts and approached Burnett with video cameras in hand. They asked the judge if he would answer a few questions about the case. Burnett declined, looking a little flustered and uncomfortable.

He told the group they did not have permission to take his picture and asked that they put down the cameras. Now, The Observer is no judge, not even a lawyer, but we're still not sure why you need permission to take a photograph of an adult in a public place.

The ATA members then retired to their table for drinks. Later, one of Burnett's guests approached the group and thanked them for being so polite.

The Observer went to a wedding of an old friend over the weekend, a lovely lady we've known for most of a decade. We can distinctly remember her saying once — or at least we think we distinctly remember it, it all runs together after awhile — that she planned never to be a Mizzus. Ah, how things change. The lost find their way home, the damned find salvation, and those who thought they were content to be unhitched forever find themselves under an arch on a fine afternoon in May, reciting their vows. The world turns for us all.

We're proud to say that one of our creations was the centerpiece of the after-ceremony festivities. The Observer is a handy sort, and months ago, when our friend was planning her May 1 wedding, she asked us to whip her up a maypole — that old pagan symbol of spring and fertility. The Observer had always heard about folks dancing around the maypole, but we'd never seen that put into practice. The Internet knows all, however, and before long we were putting together a mixed assemblage of ribbon, plywood and PVC piping painted up nice, all surmounted by a flower-bedecked wreath from which gold and pink streamers flut-tered. It was pretty if we do say so ourself.

We were worried for awhile that the storms last Saturday would drive us inside before we got a chance to get our maypole on. But the Good Lord, in His infinite wisdom, saw fit to give us just enough of a break in the weather to get it set up and let the dancers dance. We adjourned to the grassy courtyard of the church, where the pole stood against a patched sky. With Vivaldi's “Spring” playing on a nearby CD player, the wedding party took their places, then smilingly revolved around and around, twisting the colors down, down, down toward the base of the pole, weaving everything together. The bride, looking on — herself just woven into the fabric of another — was pleased, and beautiful.

Currently, The Observer is getting his car ready for the Arkansas Times' annual Rock Candy 500, our all-ages pinewood derby race, which might be a memory by the time you read this (it's on Thursday, May 6, in the River Market). As with last year, our plan is to make our racer a swoopy mess of curves and angles; probably not very fast but at least eye catching — much like The Observer, in fact. Last year, we wound up building a flat black chunk we called The Flatster. It was decidedly cool, with fully-skirted fenders and a small dome at the back for a tiny driver. Problem was, we didn't figure in that we needed to add extra weight, so our car was seriously outclassed in the speed department. It didn't even make it to the end of the track, in fact. It started fine, running true. But as the other cars raced for the finish, ours came to a grinding halt about three feet after the slope of the track turned to flat, forcing us to take the walk of shame over to retrieve it. Better luck next time, Wile E. Coyote.


From the ArkTimes store


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Arkansas Times Staff

Readers also liked…

  • I'm sorry

    I'm sorry we stood by while your generation's hope was smothered by $1.3 trillion in student loan debt, just because you were trying to educate yourselves enough to avoid falling for the snake oil and big talk of a fascist.
    • Nov 17, 2016
  • The Arkansas Traveler

    The Observer gets letters from folks, either directly or through the grapevine. Recently, somebody forwarded us one written by a former schoolteacher, writing to her granddaughter, who is a new student at the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts in Hot Springs.
    • Aug 25, 2016
  • The Grand Old Flag

    The Observer, like nearly everyone else with access to an internet connection, routinely sees our personal lighthouse battered by Hurricane Outrage, which — on a planet where billions of people struggle to find water and a crumb of daily bread — seems more like a tempest in a teapot inside a series of other, progressively larger teapots the longer we weather it.
    • Sep 1, 2016

Most Shared

Latest in The Observer

  • On shitholes

    The Observer is at home today in our kitty cat socks, weathering a combination sick day and snow day. Way down in Stifft Station, we live at the top of a hill that slopes away in all directions. That's good in a flood, but piss poor other than for sledding during snow and ice, especially when you only have access to a two-wheel drive car.
    • Jan 18, 2018
  • Giving up the ghost

    The Observer has waivered on religion throughout our life, from a good church-going lad in our younger years to where we are now, with our belief in hocus-pocus of all types shed at some point like the paper skin of an onion.
    • Jan 11, 2018
  • Baby driver

    Long after rookie pilots in The Observer's day went to test for a driver's license, Junior, 18, finally took the plunge over the Christmas break and got his permit.
    • Jan 4, 2018
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »


  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31  

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Arkansans of the Year: Women

    • Start making cash right now... Get more time with your family by doing jobs that…

    • on January 20, 2018
  • Re: Who's afraid of Barry Seal?

    • SHAME ON THE BUTLER CENTER FOR ARKANSAS STUDIES. Part of the cover-up at tax payers…

    • on January 19, 2018
  • Re: Cotton rotten

    • Rape cover-ups by Jehovah's Witnesses as exposed on NBC Dateline: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbKXj8R4_X8

    • on January 18, 2018

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation